Plan set for incredibly large number of jurors in Limestone County Sheriff Mike Blakely’s trial

The judge, along with attorneys discussed a plan to handle the large number of jurors who are expected to show up at the Limestone County Courthouse March 9.

Posted: Jan 8, 2020 4:36 PM
Updated: Jan 8, 2020 7:35 PM

Judge Pride Tompkins set a hearing Wednesday to discuss logistics for the jury selection process in the case against Limestone County Sheriff Mike Blakely.

About 500 jury summons have been mailed for the Limestone County Sheriff's case. 

Limestone County Sheriff Mike Blakely

Blakely is facing 13 ethics and theft charges. Normally, about 200 jurors are summoned for a trial. The hearing was moved to the judge's chamber Wednesday. Blakely was not there. 

The judge and attorneys discussed a plan to handle the large number of jurors who are expected to show up at the Limestone County Courthouse March 9. 

The potential jurors will still need to come to the courthouse that day, but will be split up into groups and only one group will stay. The others will be told to come back another time. This will avoid crowding a courtroom that can only hold 100 people. 

When it comes to striking or eliminating jurors, that will be done at Athens High School after hours. 

It will be a 12 juror panel with alternates. Those jurors received a questionnaire in the mail, which the judge believes will produce a more efficient trial. The questionnaire is due back in February. 

The county clerk told WAAY31 only about 40 percent of potential jurors actually show up when summoned. 

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